Chasewater Railway Museum – An interesting new item

Chasewater Railway Museum 

An interesting new item


A Manufacturer’s Plate – 27″x 14″

E.C.&J.Keay Ltd Girder

This photograph appeared in the Great Western Railway Magazine Volume XXIX No 3 (March 1917) with the following caption; ‘One of four girders made by E C & J Keay for GWR bridge over Sandy Lane near Bordesley. Length – 104 feet 9 inches, Height – 8 feet 8 inches, Width – 2 feet 9 inches to 3 feet 4 inches, Weight – 63.5 tons.’

After they had established their James Bridge Works in Darlaston in 1887, E C & J Keay Ltd specialised in the manufacture of structural steelwork for buildings and bridges. They supplied steelwork for many major projects including 6,000 tons of steelwork for the reconstruction of Snow Hill station (see gwrbsh1896). Text books from the period suggest that a 100 foot span was about the economic limit for plate girder bridge design, with a trussed girder design recommended for longer spans. E C & J Keay’s large site at Darlaston allowed sections of girder bridges to be machine riveted together under factory conditions and this pre-assembly produced more consistent construction at lower cost. In 1888, E C & J Keay also built an iron works at their site for the production of bearings and cast ironwork. The works had access to a private railway siding allowing connection from the Grand Junction Railway (later LNWR) near Walsall.

The history of The Stafford Knot

The are many stories about the origins of the Stafford Knot

The Stafford Knot (not the Staffordshire Knot!) is the symbol for the county of Staffordshire.

It appears everywhere from road signs and army berets to local pottery and football club crests.

The origin of the three-looped knot has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Some people say it is a bloody means of multiple execution while others insist it represents the joining of three geographical areas.

Death by Stafford Knot

One of the most popular stories of the knot originated following the sentencing of three criminals to death by hanging in Stafford.

However, when the executioner arrived to commit the grisly task, he came across a problem.

He only had one piece of rope. He could not just hang one of the criminals.

It would be unfair to the other two to give precedence to only one of the condemned.

He therefore tied his single rope into three loops and dispatched of all three criminals at the same time.

Stafford Knot

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